Thursday, December 31, 2009


Life is busy...
We are home and having fun, but busy every minute of the day. She loves all her new toys and is very good at playing. She will be happy playing all day long...
So far, she has been mine for 11 days. We have done a ton of things in that time. She enjoyed the plane ride home... but Mommy spilled her pediasure all over the plane. oops.
Getting her gobs of things home in the van was a challenge, but we made it. I immediately got a migraine as we drove home and collapsed on the floor with my little girl at home. She played as I recovered... nice welcome home, huh?
In addition, supplies were delivered. A million supplies - trach kits, humidifier, tubing, sterile water, suction catheters, oxygen, saline, nebulizer kits, HME devices, probably more that I can't think of...
The next day ten UPS boxes arrived from her adoption agency. This kid has more stuff than god! Toys, stuffed animals, supplies, clothes, pediasure, bath chair, more supplies, day braces, night braces, etc.
THEN... We left town for the holiday! (Yes, go ahead and say that I am crazy.) She was a great kid through everything... happy and social! She loved it and we bonded nicely even though we were constanly in new places and meeting new people.

Mary and her Aunt Ellyde on Christmas

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Decided to go

I've decided to go.
The adoption paperwork and ICPC are done and completed.
The only thing holding us apart is state Medicaid transfer.
I'm planning on showing up on the agency doorstep later this month. If that doesn't get the gears moving, I don't know what will! I've let them know and I think (hope) they are preparing. I hope that paperwork has moved and plans are in motion. I hope that the foster mom has been told. I was told that we can have a meeting the first morning I am there. Her caseworker said that she was pleased about my decision.
This caseworker has been awesome! She has been very timely in all her work and so kind and professional on the phone. I have been very pleased.
I have my plane ticket, hotel and car reservation. One way or another, my little girl and I will be together for Christmas!

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

an adoption shower

I was really blessed this weekend to have some friends throw me an adoption shower. My friend, Lee, was super excited about this and she went all out! Cake, decorations, favors... the whole shebang! Here are some pictures from the event.

The little kids really enjoyed helping open presents for a child their own age! The boy even liked the princess towel! :P

Alicia -aka Yaya- made matching mother/daughter scarves and hats! They are wonderful!

I asked Onni to be my daughter's Godmother. Her response was yes!

My friend Donna made the cake and everyone like it. She does great cakes!

I think everyone had a nice time and I was so pleased to have the support of my friends.

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

I'm Back


Sorry I disappeared for a while. Blogspot gave me trouble and I couldn't get on people's blogs for a while.

A lot has happened.

My little girl will be coming home at the end of this month!!!! The first week of Dec. at the latest! I will be in Florida for Thanksgiving.

She is so beautiful! She looks so smart. Her eyes are saying so much in the pictures I have seen.

She is right on target for weight and height for her age. She is delayed in her play skills, but likes age-appropriate TV shows, like Dora and Little Einsteins. She goes to preschool everyday and is learning communication skills.

I have completed most of my list. I met with the pediatrician and it went very well. We have a physical appointment set up for the middle of December. I found a nurse to attend school with her. I met with the school district and we are discussing appropriate placement. I have the phone company coming next week to install a line in her room. I am working on getting a night nurse. I have snow removal all arranged. I hope there isn't too much snow this winter!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

things to do

There are lots of things to do before my daughter comes. She is medically fragile, so there are things that need to be done to the house and people to call to prepare for her arrival. I think I'd better make a list.

-get a phone jack put in her room (need to have access to 911)
-call the electric company (to notify them of a medically fragile person in house)
-arrange for a.m. snow removal (I can't be going out to do it!)
-find the appropriate special ed. preschool
-interview nurses for school
-interview night nurses
-get CPR certified (for real :p )
-interview the pediatrician

There is probably more. I just can't think of it at this moment.
+I should get some papers to enroll her in the public schools tomorrow.
+I have an appointment with the pediatrician next Friday.

so much to do! I hope she can come home soon!

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Been Matched!

I haven't posted in a while. I've read other blogs, but haven't posted. I have been very busy with a lot on my mind.
I have been matched for an adoption! I will have a 4-year-old girl by the end of this year (I hope!)
This little girl is so darn cute, I can't stand it! She lives in Florida right now and her foster mom can't adopt her for personal reasons. She sounds like a fabulous foster mom, though!!! The little girl loves music, the color purple, visiting the mall, and the shows on NickJr.
She also has spina bifida, is respiratory compromised and has seizures. Once a contract goes through, I will go down to visit and prove I know how to take care of a person with these issues.
I CAN'T WAIT TO MEET HER!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

MY normal

Jasmine was born cortically blind, with cerebral palsy, a seizure disorder, mental retardation, and microcephaly. She developed hydrocephaly, secondary to her prematurity, for which a doctor put in a shunt. When she was a few months old, doctors put a trach tube to open her trachea for breathing. She turned out to need it permanently because she had tracheomalacia, an overly soft palate, and an overly large tongue. When Jas was five years old, doctors inserted a G-tube so she could receive the nourishment and medication she needed. Despite the medical procedures, Jasmine was happy, lively, and social. Through her many seizure-related hospitalizations, she held onto life and returned home healthier.
She was my normal. That was my childhood growing up and I wouldn’t change a thing!
When I was thirteen, I got an afterschool job as a mother’s helper with a child with severe cerebral palsy. I stayed with it until I graduated and still worked with her on college breaks.
I chose music therapy as a career because I saw how music therapy helped Jasmine learn. She learned how to communicate and engage with her environment more effectively because of music therapy. I wanted to do that for kids like Jas.
While I was in college, I worked part-time at an Intermediate Care Facility for the Mentally Retarded (ICF/MR) as direct care staff. This meant that I feed (sometimes g-tube), bathed, and dressed the residents who were unable to care for themselves. I also worked with each resident on specific life-skills goals.
When I moved to Rochester, I started my job working with public school students with disabilities. I’m currently placed in a middle/high school that has students who are medically and developmentally challenged. Many students use wheelchairs and all the students have communication delays or deficits.
I also do respite work and through this job, I learned how to take a blood pressure, chart oxygen rates and keep a pain scale chart. (I learned how to suction many years ago – Jasmine had required it.)
Maybe you wonder why I would want to work in a job like this and then have a child with special needs at home, too? Like I said before, it is my normal.
I hope this helps you understand that I have given this a lot of thought and am trying to be patient as I wait for my child to find me.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009


To Whom It May Concern:

I have been pursuing adopting Jxxx, child number xxx on the Children Awaiting Parents website, for eight months. I have completed courses, including medical and behavior classes, MAPP training, and CPR/First Aid. My homestudy was complete as of July 31 and all background checks have come back clean. References that I provided indicated superior ratings for caring for children, especially for children with severe special needs.

My adoption caseworker, Lxxxx from XXXXXX Agency, and I met with Mxxx and Sxxxx of XXXX County DSS on August 5, 2009 to discuss Jxxx and his extensive needs. I learned of his medical and developmental needs and was not overly surprised at the care he required. As Jxxx requires round-the-clock care, I outlined three different methods by which I could gain any assistance I might need in providing this constant care while retaining my current job as a music therapist working with special needs students.

On August 10, Lxxxxtelephoned Sxxxx to let her know that I still was interested in pursuing adopting Jxxx. On August 13, Sxxxx called me saying that the agency was looking for a two-parent home with a stay-at-home mom. When I asked this state social worker if I had tried to adopt the toddler before my late husband, Craig, had died, she said that we would have been more seriously considered my application.

Unable to comprehend why the state would choose not to consider a willing and qualified potential adoptive parent for a hard-to-place child, I consulted with an attorney who informed me not only that New York expressly authorizes adoption by a “single unmarried person” but also that New York law prohibits agencies from setting a higher standard for adoption by a single parent than a married couple.
[2] The only relevant consideration should be the best interests of the child.

Given my willingness to adopt Jxxx, a medically fragile child who has been available for adoption for more than three years -- his entire life -- I do not feel the best interests of the child are served by excluding me from consideration as an adoptive parent for Jxxx. To do so for a reason explicitly prohibited under New York law puzzles me even more.
I am hopeful that my writing this letter will prompt the agency to reconsider this decision. Please contact me at XXX-XXXX and my caseworker at XXX-XXXX.

[1] I asked Sxxxx if she could put this information into an email, but she said she would be uncomfortable doing so.
[2] A New York regulation on adoption studies specifically directs that “[a]gencies must not consider marital status in their acceptance or rejection of applicants” and that “[a]gencies must not establish policies which place single or divorced applicants . . . at a disadvantage.”

That was the letter that went out yesterday to numerous people. Realistically, I don't expect a change, but I am now telling myself to move on from this situation.
~oh, check out Adoptive Momma of Two and the cool books she is giving away about adoption!

Friday, August 14, 2009

VOICES for children in foster care

When I was a teenager, I had an A Cappella singing group called VOICES. We sang at various local functions. We were actually pretty good and tried to make a demo, but then life separated us and we went off to college and pursued other careers.

One function we sang at was an adoption rally for children’s rights. We sang the song in the previous blog, entitled, “Hear My Voice.” It is from the perspective of a child who was given up for adoption. After being adopted and raised for a few years as infants and toddlers, children were being given back to their birth families because the mom or dad changed their minds or just found out about the kid or had another reason.
A child deserves a permanent home. A family deserves to know that they are a family forever.

My sister is a lawyer in NYC. She assisted me in looking up the law about discriminating against adopting parents. New York State explicitly bans marital status discrimination in adoption law, making it illegal for government agencies to place children with a married couple over a single individual or an unmarried couple. The sole reason I was given that I could not adopt the little boy pictured below was because I was not married.

When I asked the state social worker if I had tried to adopt the toddler before Craig had died, she said that we would have been more seriously considered. I asked if I could get this in an email and she said she was uncomfortable with that. This is not right. This is not just. This is illegal.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Hear My Voice

Does anyone hear what I hear through my ears?

Do you know I have ears, too?
I hear you deciding my future for me,

but no one's asking me.

Hear My Voice

Children have voices, too.

Hear My Voice

Children have voices, too.

Does anyone see what I see through my eyes?

Did you know I have eyes too?

I already see my life clearly, but no one's asking me.

Hear My Voice

Children have voices, too

Hear My Voice

Children have Voices, too.

Does anyone feel what I feel deep inside?

Did you know I have feelings, too?

My feelings are just as real as your's,

but no one's asking me.

Hear My Voice

Children have voices, too

Hear My Voice

Children have voices, too.

Can anyone say what I say with my voice?

Did you know I have a voice, too?

Before it's too late, please listen to me,

Please listen, won't you listen and

Hear My Voice

Children have voices, too.

Hear My Voice

Children have voices, too.

~a song by Annie Rose~